What is Child Abuse and Exploitation?
Child abuse is the mistreatment of a child that is likely to, or does:
- Cause any detrimental effect to a child’s physical, psychological, or emotional wellbeing;
- Endanger a child’s physical or emotional health, development or wellbeing.
This abuse may occur once, or be repeated, and includes physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and exposure to family violence. Importantly, one type of abuse can often increase the risk of suffering other types of abuse. Abuse can take place both online and offline, and may involve harassment, grooming and other forms of non-contact behaviour.
Child exploitation is when someone uses a child for financial gain, sexual gratification, labour or personal advantage. For example, child sexual exploitation takes place when sexual abuse of a child is recorded (e.g. in photos or videos), the child is encouraged to view sexually graphic material, or a child is engaged to participate in sexual conversations (including over social media).
The information on this page as part of the campaign primarily focuses on child sexual abuse and exploitation. To learn more about other forms of abuse and neglect, please click here.